Cleaning Up Cheaply

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After seeing an article about a waterblock where the user did not clean it
very well, I felt I should offer some advice.

Instead of using harsh chemicals and lots of elbow grease to clean your copper block, use something
a bit more ordinary: ketchup. Plain, everyday, any brand you like ketchup.

Apply the ketchup to the block and spread it around. You should start to see
immediate results. Most of the deposits and film that accumulate on the
block should disappear.

After letting the block sit for a few minutes,
wipe/wash the block clean.

That is all there is to it.

Ed. comment: I had visions of waterblocks being mistaken for McDonald’s ketchup dispensers and computers smelling like an old order of fries, so I decided to do some additional checking on this.

Sure enough, he’s right. Ketchup is often recommended as a way to clean and polish copper. The ascorbic acid in it helps to dissolve the copper stains, and the salt helps to rub the grime away.

If ketchup doesn’t quite strike your fancy, you could try one of the copper-cleaning alternatives found here (look at hints 40-45). There’s a number of them, including toothpaste along with a combo of vinegar and salt.

While this hint is certainly helpful enough, the bigger lesson is that if you’re faced with a cleaning problem, before you try to find a macho cleaning solution, you might want to check to see if there are humbler (and much less expensive) alternatives.–Ed

If you find something like this that works to solve this kind of problem, send it in.
I’ll play high-tech Heloise. 🙂

Herb Mielke


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